Due to poor air quality, residents in much of Southern California will be prohibited from lighting wood-burning fires for 24 hours, starting at midnight Monday.
The mandatory no-burn alert was issued by the South Coast Air Quality Management District. On Sunday afternoon, the air quality index in downtown Los Angeles was 119, or “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” according to the air quality district’s website.
From Nov. 1 through the end of February, the air district issues no-burn alerts when fine particulate pollution rises to an unhealthy level, defined as more than 30 micrograms per cubic meter. The alert applies to wood-burning devices such as residential fireplaces, backyard fire pits and wood stoves.
The district oversees air quality in the Orange County and the urban portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, which are among the smoggiest regions in the country.
The no-burn alert does not apply to the Riverside County desert or to properties above 3,000 feet in elevation. Low-income households are exempt, as are households where wood-burning is the sole source of heat.
High levels of air pollution can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, lung inflammation and breathing difficulties, as well as increase the risk of bronchitis, asthma attacks and heart attacks, according to the air district.
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